Old Settlers Picnic Grounds

Old Settlers' Park is located on the southeastern shore of Glen Lake, on South Dunns Farm Road (County Road 675) in Empire Township. Early settlers' established it as a picnic ground in 1892 with access to Glen Lake. The chapel located on the grounds of the park is available for use and is coordinated and maintained by the Glen Lake Woman's Club on a first come, first serve basis.


Residents of the logging community of Burdickville helOld Settlers Lakesided a picnic on August 2, 1893 to honor two elderly pioneers, Kasson Freeman and John Fisher. High attendance at this first picnic inspired the organizers to hold one annually. In 1905, they formed the Old Settlers Picnic Association and began raising funds to purchase a permanent picnic ground. The present Old Settlers Park reflects two purchases. In 1912, with funds from the Association, Leelanau County bought a five-acre parcel adjacent to the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was built in 1896. In 1917, the Association funded the county’s purchase of the church, with the Methodists stipulating that the church “shall not be used for dancing.” Each August, people came from miles around to attend the Old Settlers Picnic.